Fines and Amercements

This document was an annual accounting of the income which the Lord received from fines and amercements. It included both fines imposed for misdemeanors and the receipts of alienation fines (a form of land tax applied whenever property was transferred to a new owner. A new booklet was produced each year beginning shortly after the Act of Settlement (1704). Prior to this statute (which directly to the introduction of alienation fines and a reduction in the importance and thus frequency of the Libri Assedationis) such income was recorded in a special section of the Libri Assedationis. The Fines and Amercements booklets are held under reference MS10192 at the Manx National Heritage library.




The income is recorded by parish. (To an initial glance parishes appear to be presented in the same order as in the Libri Assedationis, but I have not confirmed this.) Below each parish heading there are two sections. The first section records payments for misdemeanors. Each line records the name of the individual(s) concerned together with a brief description of their offence. The left hand column contains the name and year of the court record series within which the misdemeanor was considered. The right hand column gives the amount of the payment. Typical entries in the left hand column are Lib Scac (for Liber Scaccarii), Lib plit (for Liber Placitorum), File pet (for the petitions file) and File Enquest for the Enquest file. Examples of offences are "disobedience before the Deemster" (possibly for non-attendance at court), refusal to sit on a jury, "selling ale with an Earthen and unsealed mugg" and "driving his horses with leads" through another's lands. Pinfold fines are also included in this section without further explanation. (Pinfold fines were apparently penalties imposed for livestock which wandered away from their owner's ground and which were consequently impounded. Reference is made to them in several statutes.)


The second section is headed Alienation fines and records the obligatory payment made by the new landowner when land is transferred to his name. It has a similar format to the first save that each entry typically only gives the landowner's name with no further explanation. The left hand column usually references Lib Vast (for Liber Vastarum) but L Monaster (for Liber Monasteriorum which contains Barony records) and Mortgage Book also appear.


The income for each section is totalled and presumably the aggregate of these totals is recorded at the end of the book, and later incorporated into the Charge Book. (I have not checked this).




This series potentially provides a useful 18th century index to the various manorial rolls and would merit a closer examination.